Armored police watch protestors following fatal shooting of Michael Brown
Ferguson – Missouri – 13 August 2014
Photo Credit: Whitney Curtis / The New York Times
During the last week in July 2014, my eighty-one-year-old mother was physically assaulted in a Culver City bus in Los Angeles County. As a regular passenger on the Culver City line, I have never felt threatened. The bus drivers, most of whom are black, are always courteous. Therefore, the news of my mother’s assault came as a shock.
With the aid of a walking chair, my mother moves around Los Angeles by bus. When she entered the Culver City bus near her residence, two white women sat facing each other in the front section of the bus. The two seats in this section, reserved for the elderly and physically disabled passengers, fold upwards to accommodate passengers using motorized and other wheel chairs. My mother judged the stout woman to be in her fifties. The other woman was frail and older, probably in her seventies. As is normal during the slack mid-morning period, there were only three other passengers on the bus.
While the bus driver, also white, waited at the bus stop for my mother to take a seat, the stout woman stood up and spoke to the frail woman across the aisle. While they spoke to each other, my mother positioned her walking chair to sit down next to the frail woman. (These side seats each hold three passengers.) Continue reading